If you have a social media presence at all, you have likely seen the trend of the “hot mess moms.” This is basically content put out on social media, usually comically, detailing the struggle of trying to juggle things as a mom. There are also many pages dedicated to dads who are struggling to cope as fathers. While all of these videos and posts are usually done in jest, it poses the following question: why is this type of content so popular? It is likely because so many of us can relate to feeling unqualified to parent. This content is created so that we all feel less alone, with the hope that someone out there gets it.
It is way easier to feel like you will never be enough as a parent than to feel like you are going to knock it out of the park. This is especially true if you are a first-time parent. These little monsters do not come with instruction manuals. I have five children and still feel confused as to how someone entrusted me with this many. There is no school for this. There is no “3 a.m. Diaper Explosion” certification, no “Fourth Trip to the ER This Year” associates, no “First Heartbreak From That Boy I Warned Her About” bachelor’s degree. Most of us are winging it. You are not alone.
While it is quite easy to find the “hot mess moms” and the “don’t know what I’m doing dads” on social media, what you may not be seeing is the times where we do parenting well. There are even those who totally crush this parenting thing some days, and you will too. It is not all a hot mess. None of us are qualified to be parents; yet, there are kids globally who say their parents did an awesome job. This is because it is not a matter of a parent being “enough” but rather a parent putting in the effort and showing up.
If you can be present in your child’s life, you are already enough. If you vow to listen, to care, to be there for their big moments, you’re enough. If you will care for their needs emotionally, physically, and mentally do the best of your ability, you’re enough. Being enough is about doing all you can do and seeking help when something is beyond your scope. Knowing when to ask for help is vital in parenting. We may not be qualified, but any parent can be enough when he or she puts the child’s needs first and bases actions on those needs.
Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on https://www.facebook.com/halfemptymom/.